If you have ever undergone surgery, you have likely received anesthesia. While the medication is intended to prevent painful sensations during a surgical procedure, there are always potential complications associated with the administration of anesthesia. When these complications result from an anesthesiologists’ negligence, it raises a concern of medical malpractice. The Prochaska, Howell & Prochaska LLC Law Firm anesthesia medical malpractice lawyers in Wichita, Kansas, specialize in these types of medical malpractice cases and have outlined everything you should know about anesthesia malpractice.
What Is Anesthesia Medical Malpractice?
Anesthesia Medical Malpractice
According to John Hopkins Medicine, anesthesiologists are the doctors trained to administer and manage anesthesia during a surgical procedure. While they are responsible for administering the correct dose and type of anesthesia—general, regional, or local—they have other responsibilities that may include:
- Communicating with the patient before surgery to review their medical history.
- Preventing any unnecessary or overly dangerous operations.
- Ensuring correct positioning during surgery.
- Monitoring the patient during surgery.
- Certifying the patient has fully recovered from anesthesia after surgery and is safely discharged.
If an anesthesiologist or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) fails to fulfill these responsibilities and provide sufficient protection to the patient, it can be considered an act of medical negligence and may result in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Causes of Negligence
According to an anesthesia and critical care study, human errors were believed to account for 65-87 percent of deaths caused during anesthesia. Some possible causes of anesthesiologist negligence include:
- Fatigue — the result of medical professionals being overworked due to understaffed hospitals
- Incompetence — caused by the anesthesiologist or CRNA not being properly trained (although this is a rare occurrence)
- Poor communication
- Purposeful negligence
Examples of Anesthesia Medical Malpractice
Although medical negligence can occur during a surgical procedure, anesthesia medical malpractice cases often occur before the surgery ever takes place. Possible examples of anesthesia malpractice may include:
- Failure to properly communicate pre-operation instructions to the patient.
- Failure to review the patients’ medical records prior to surgery.
- Use of unsanitary equipment.
- Administering the wrong type or dose of anesthesia.
- Incorrect intubation.
- Failure to monitor consciousness, blood-oxygen levels, and vital signs.
- Turning off medical equipment during surgery.
Consequences of Negligence
Many complications can occur when an anesthesiologist or CRNA makes a mistake in the operating room. The following are potential side effects that can occur:
- Nerve damage
- Heart arrhythmia
- Cardiovascular collapse
What Should I Do if I Suspect Anesthesia Malpractice?
“Technological advancements may help prevent some mistakes, but the possibility of human error is a variable that will never be removed entirely from the process,” states Bradley J. Prochaska, partner and anesthesiologist malpractice lawyer at the PHP Law Firm in Wichita. “Sometimes mistakes happen, and it’s nobody’s fault. Unfortunately, some mistakes could have been avoided if it wasn’t for the negligence of the medical professional responsible.”
If you or someone you know has experienced surgical complications due to suspected anesthesiologist negligence, it is important to contact an experienced anesthesia medical malpractice lawyer immediately to gain compensation for your injuries.
How PHP Law Firm Can Help
When you contact the PHP Law Firm anesthesiologist medical malpractice lawyers in Wichita, we can schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation before making a recommendation. If our team feels that you are the victim of anesthesiologist negligence and you would like to proceed with legal action, you will not be charged any fees unless we win compensation for you.
Contact us directly at (316) 683-9080 to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to speaking with you!